PlayStation 3 Update
The latest firmware update for the PlayStation 3 was announced recently at GamesCom and it went live on the 1st of September. Described as a major overhaul the update to Firmware 3.0 heralded a number of changes and tweaks to the PlayStation 3 software. This update coincides with the release of the PlayStation 3 slim and a big price drop from Sony and it means the gloves are off in the console war. Let’s take a closer look at the changes they have instituted.
XMB, What’s New and Trophies
The XMB (XrossMediaBar) has been redesigned. The text is larger, there is a new background theme and a handy information panel has been added at the top right of the screen. You can also now copy and paste text using the on-screen keyboard and the number of possible folder levels has been increased. You can also personalize your PS3 with a range of custom themes and avatars, some are free, and others you can buy for a small fee from the PlayStation Store.
The old Information Board has been replaced by a What’s New section which displays some of the latest additions to the PlayStation Store. In fact you can see detailed information here by selecting an item. It also displays your most recently played titles.
The Trophies system has also been improved and developers can now modify the way trophies are displayed for add-on content. In effect this means you should get a simpler list. So for example with Batman: Arkham Asylum trophies any additional trophies you win from the add on pack can be listed in a single list instead of under the separate title.
Audio Outputs, Video Control, Web Pages and Friends
In the settings menu you’ll find another couple of changes. For a start you can now output audio to multiple devices. You can have simultaneous digital audio output from the HDMI OUT connector, the DIGITAL OUT (optical) connector and the AV MULTI OUT connector. You can also now set the language and subtitle preferences for content stored on the hard disk.
Video operation has been simplified and you’ll find that you can now use the right stick on your controller to fast forward or rewind videos. You can also change the speed by rotating the stick.
You can now print web pages to a connected printer and you can also save web pages as an image. Saved web pages will appear in your Photo folder.
You can now access a list of messages that you have sent to or received from a friend on their profile screen.
BBC iPlayer for UK
In addition to these changes for PS3 owners in the UK there is more good news. You can now access the BBC iPlayer website and watch programs from the last seven days via the internet browser on your PS3.
Video on Demand Coming Soon
This latest update makes the PlayStation 3 more attractive than ever before. PlayStation Home also continues to grow, allowing PS3 owners to create a character and socialise in a virtual world. The next big planned update for the PS3 is the addition of a video on demand service which will allow you to watch all of the latest movies through your PS3 at a decent resolution. For a taster you can check out movie trailers via the What’s New section or the PlayStation Store, you can even check them out in the virtual movie theater in PlayStation Home.